The representation of children in modern European visual culture has often been marginalized by Art History as sentimental and trivial. For this reason the subject of childhood in relation to art and its production has largely been ignored. Confronting this dismissal, this unique collection of essays raises new and unexpected issues about the formation of childhood identity in the nineteenth century and makes a significant contribution to the development of inter-disciplinary studies within this area. Through a range of stimulating and insightful case studies, the book charts the development of the Romantic ideal of childhood, starting with Rousseau’s Emile, and attends to its visual, social and psychological transformations during the historical period from which Freud’s psychoanalytic theories eventually emerged. Foremost scholars such as Anne Higonnet, Carol Mavor, Susan Casteras and Linda A. Pollock uncover the means by which children became an important conduit for prevailing social anxieties and demonstrate that the apparently ’timeless’ images of them that proliferated at the time should be understood as complex cultural documents. Over 50 illustrations enhance this rich and fascinating volume.
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